“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” ~ Wilfred Arlan Peterson
You Can Re-Wire Your Brain
When its comes to understanding the human brain, we’ve come a long way in the last couple of decades. Further than we have in, well, our entire previous existence. Science is now at the point where it can actually show us exactly how the brain learns, develops habits and, to a large extent, creates our experience of reality and the lives we live.
Yet even beyond this, it has now graced us with the knowledge that we can actually, consciously re-wire our own brains through effort of will alone. And, just as it can show us how we learn, it can now show us how — and how to — set about this process of re-learning at our own behest.
Old Dogs, New Tricks / Old Tricks, New Dogs
In actuality, this is something that certain people on the planet have been up to for millennia, yet their knowledge of the process remained experiential and unverifiable by objective science. Until now. Now, we are able to see just how states like compassion, empathy, kindness and self-confidence (or any desired state of mind) can be consciously built through manipulation of the brain’s electrical and chemical processes.
This beautiful infographic by Alta Mira, an addiction treatment center in Los Angeles, California, demonstrates how those changes take place, and how the actual architecture of our brains transform when we learn new skills, become mindful of our emotions and notice how we are reacting to environmental stimuli. It also shows us how bad habits and addictions form in the brain and how to break those patterns in favour of newer, healthier habits.
As the title states, it’s never too late to start. Our brains are “plastic”, and can be re-wired at any age.